Inspired by: Calgary

The wildfire of Fort McMurray is paramount on all of our minds right now.
I want to send our love to everyone impacted by it.
If you’d like to support the relief efforts, the Red Cross is accepting donations towards their operations.
This week I am turning my attention to my hometown: Calgary, Alberta. Living and working in Calgary, I find inspiration at the drop of a dime. We’re renowned for the Calgary Stampede and the oil patch, but there is so much more to this city–it’s an interior designer’s heaven.
Whether it’s in the the bustling city life, the vibrant arts and culture scene, the architecture of Calgary’s many incredible districts or in the simple pleasures of our seasons (snowy days lit by the sunshine, blossoms falling in the spring, lakes and rivers glistening in the summer, the colours of the forests in the fall)–beauty, life, and fun abound here.
Let’s talk about a few of my favourite districts, because they each deserve an ode for their distinct character.
First up is the always fun 17th Avenue, where shopping reigns supreme (Modern Duke, West Elm, Frank and Oak, Gravity Pope, Mona Lisa Art Supplies). I could happily spend the morning shopping, the afternoon people watching and then cap it off with a stop at The Big Cheese Poutinerie,  a coffee over at Analog, and a city stroll.
What I am super excited about is the up and coming East Village, the reimagining of Calgary’s first neighbourhood. Once a vibrant community, turned ‘skid row’, it is now being redeveloped through a public/private initiative.  If nothing else, a visit to The National Music Centre , which is opening later this year, is on my list.  The nearby St Patricks Island reopened last year, and you have to experience the amount of people enjoying the pedestrian and cyclists’ RiverWalk.

St. Patrick’s Island

Then there is Bridgeland, a bustling inner-city community conveniently close to the downtown centre, but with the advantages of small boutique eateries, such as Blue Star Diner, trails, parks and residential neighbourhoods. I love the innovative LEED condo buildings.

Heading downtown you can find the revived Devonian Gardens, scores of public art, and The Core for great shopping. Let’s not forget the many images of Jaume Plensa’s ‘Wonderland’ that have been clogging my Instagram feed!

Up for a great streetscape?  Meander east to Inglewood where you’ll find Adorn Boutique, Plant, ESPY experience, the Livery, the Esker Foundation art gallery, Ironwood Stage for live music, and The Nash for amazing food and drinks. Seriously, what’s not to love?

Calgary is home to art galleries large and small, Commonwealth Collectors Club (a market for local artisans and small purveyors),and my Sunday haunt the Calgary Farmers’ Market for delicious local food and eateries, we truly have it all here. Which reminds me of one more favourite: Spruce Meadows, which hosts the best of the best in international horse competition–amazing place.

I have to finish on the world class Calatrava Peace Bridge. I’m ALWAYS inspired by it.

Do you have a favourite Calgary locale? Tell me about it!